Talk:Labour policy

From MediaWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

This is a briefer THIRD DRAFT for a revised Labour Policy. The SECOND DRAFT immediately below it was much longer. It reflected a lot of ideas and input that came from many community members in November, 2009. New language is in red. Key phrases from some paragraphs are in bold, for emphasis and clarity, but the original language is the same.


Each member is required to work thirty hours per month on co-op administration and/or operations. (Capital improvement projects have their own budget for hours and those hours can be exchanged for Class B shares). Temporary exceptions can be made for members who live off-island or are otherwise temporarily away. Agreements about this should be noted in writing, or in the meeting minutes.

Hours must be recorded and reported monthly to the finance steward no later than the 15th of the following month.

Hours other than group meetings, work parties or activities must be worked on approved operational and administrative tasks. Tasks get approved by submitting a project page to the wiki, as determined (and recorded) in operational meetings or by a steward determining an immediate need and consulting with the project manager.

Community labour is intended to be performed in the month required. In special circumstances, a member may request beforehand that their hours be 'banked' for some period of time. This request will be approved (or not) by the steward of a particular project, or by the members if the excess labour is of a general nature.

Should a member not work the required hours in one month, they will be required to pay $15 per hour for the hours short to the co-op. This is due on the 15th of the following month.

The following activities shall be considered as community labour:

  • Work parties
  • Food production, permaculture, and water management for the community as a whole (for example, this excludes gardening outside of the common garden, unless specifically approved and noted in meeting Minutes.
  • Networking including (1) Residents meetings, monthly members meetings, weekly “compost” communication or heart-circle meetings, (2) Smaller meetings on approved projects or in areas of stewardship, such as a weekly farm meeting or a planning meeting, and (3) Email and phone communications related to EcoReality activities.
  • Writing, information management, and research, on approved projects or in an area of stewardship or approved communications such as newsletters.
  • Planning activities (including individual research and preparation for a planning meeting).
  • Event preparation and hosting activities such as research, planning, shopping, meal preparation, cleaning, maintenance, classroom support, etc.
  • Management and administration of co-op resources or privately-vested resources being used for co-op business (such as classroom)
  • Maintenance of common spaces. For the time being, this includes only outdoor spaces; in the future, when there is a community kitchen, this will be expanded to include common kitchen(s), studio/workshop space, common bathing/laundry facilities, etc.

The following activities shall *not* be considered as community labour: The following activities are those of a type which are ‘not’ considered as community labour:

  • Maintenance of the studio/workshop building
  • Maintenance of private residences other than common infrastructure (well, water and septic systems, greywater, heating/plumbing, etc.) which ‘are’ considered community labour
  • Care of privately owned animals, private business activities, etc.

Contents

End of THIRD DRAFT November 19, 2009

This page now includes a SECOND DRAFT for a revised Labour Policy. See the History of this Discussion page for all of the comments that became inputs into this draft. Revisions/additions are in red and a request for further comments is in purple.

Community labour requirement

Community Labour Requirement: After six months of residency, every member is required to work thirty hours per month on co-op administration and/or operations, and to record and report their hours worked to the Finance Steward as described in the Reporting Procedure section below. (Capital improvement projects have their own budget for hours and those hours can be exchanged for Class B shares).

  • Non resident members are requested to work and record at least 10 hours per month on co-op administration, co-op meetings, farm operations or activities on members weekends. Each non resident member should make a written agreement with the Finance Steward about their monthly work contribution, and this agreement should be approved by a consensus of members.
  • Members might well contribute many more than the 30 hours required minimum. Thirty hours is intended as a low minimum intended to accommodate Members or residents who have offsite jobs, or who live offsite such as when there is not enough residence space for them to live on-site.

Community Labour Contribution by non-Members: Member applicants, and long-term residents who are not on a membership track, are very highly encouraged to meet the requirements for minimum hours worked and reporting their hours worked. The Finance Steward shall make a written agreement with each member applicant, off-site member, or long-term resident who is not on a membership track, on a case-by-case basis considering individual circumstances.

  • The purpose of this section is to reasonably encourage maximum participation while considering individual needs and circumstances.

Reporting Procedure: The Finance Steward shall assist each new resident and member in becoming familiar with the requirements for recording and reporting of their hours worked.

Hours must be recorded monthly and sent to the finance steward no later than the 15th of the following month. The Finance Steward shall provide members and residents with current reporting forms and give instructions about the reporting process. The current reporting process is to place each month’s Hours Worked sheet into a three-ring binder provided for that purpose, located in the Yellow House.

Approved Projects and Activities: Hours other than group meetings, work parties or activities must be worked on approved operational and administrative tasks. Tasks get approved by submitting a project page to the wiki, as determined (and recorded) in operational meetings or by a steward determining an immediate need and consulting with the project manager.

Editorial Note: I, Dennis, request comments and suggestions (verbally, via email, or on this page) from the group about the following items. With your suggestions, I will be happy to draft sections about the following topics:

  • Instructions (in the Wiki, either here or in a separate Labour_reporting section, on how to properly record and report hours.
  • Links to the Activities page and the Projects page.
  • An Approved_time page that could have instructions or information about:
    • Estimated monthly time budgets for each Stewardship
    • Describing the process for claiming labour hours not yet recognized as an Approved activity.
    • Describing an Accountability procedure for reconciling previous months’ labour shortages by individual residents or members.

Minimum Hours, Temporary Exceptions: Members and residents may obtain temporary exemptions from the monthly requirement based on individual circumstances (such as a long period of employment off-site, family reasons, or other such “temporary” situations. No member should be penalized if, for example, they need to work off-site for an extended period or if they have a family emergency that requires their full attention.

Banking of hours: Community labour is intended to be performed in the month required. In special circumstances, a member may request beforehand that their hours be 'banked' for some period of time. This request will be approved (or not) by the steward of a particular project, or by the members if the excess labour is of a general nature.

Penalty for non-contribution: Should a member not work the required hours in one month, they will be required to pay $15 per hour for the hours short to the co-op. This is due on the 15th of the following month. In special cases, the Finance Steward shall determine, after consulting with Members and reaching a consensus, if this requirement needs to be temporarily adjusted such as with time extensions or other special exceptions.

Activities Considered as Community Labour: Co-op administration and/or operations, which are the two forms of community work, shall include the following activities:

  • Work parties
  • Food production, permaculture, and water management for the community as a whole (for example, this excludes gardening outside of the common garden, unless specifically approved and noted in meeting Minutes.
  • Networking including (1) Residents meetings, monthly members meetings, weekly “compost” communication or heart-circle meetings, (2) Smaller meetings on approved projects or in areas of stewardship, such as a weekly farm meeting or a planning meeting, and (3) Email and phone communications related to EcoReality activities.
  • Writing, information management, and research, on approved projects or in an area of stewardship or approved communications such as newsletters.
  • Planning activities (including individual research and preparation for a planning meeting).
  • Event preparation and hosting activities such as research, planning, shopping, meal preparation, cleaning, maintenance, classroom support, etc.
  • Management and administration of co-op resources or privately-vested resources being used for co-op business (such as classroom)
  • Maintenance of common spaces. For the time being, this includes only outdoor spaces; in the future, when there is a community kitchen, this will be expanded to include common kitchen(s), studio/workshop space, common bathing/laundry facilities, etc.

Activities Not Considered as Community Labour

The following activities are those of a type which are ‘not’ considered as community labour:

  • Maintenance of the studio/workshop building
  • Maintenance of private residences other than common infrastructure (well, water and septic systems, greywater, heating/plumbing, etc.) which ‘are’ considered community labour
  • Care of privately owned animals, private business activities, etc.

Below are old comments. Dennis will erase them soon, and then they can be found in the History of these pages.

Request for Comments by All, October 13, 2009

Note: this request is by agreement of the Residents Meeting on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. Dennis will use these comments, along with any relevant ones from earlier additions to this page, to re-draft an updated Labour policy. He will also include links to Activities and Projects and other pages that support the Labour Policy or are needed as references when complying to its reporting requirements. Please post comments specific to the points listed below, which were identified as the specific areas that may need updating. Please comment on:

  • Clarify difference between residents/members/nonresidents

    • I am inspired by the concept of equality and non-hierarchy among long term residents. For this reason, I'd like to see us consider that for the first six months of residency (regardless of whether a member or not) people are given the option to set their own work hours and are eased into the process of logging hours and what constitute EcoReality labour.
    • After six months of residency, every resident (members, non-members whether renters or otherwise) has the same hourly co-op labour requirement.
  • Number of hours worked

    • Whichever number has the whole group really excited.
    • I find 20-30 is the most feasible. Although many of us may (and do) work more than 30 hours for EcoReality, I think we need to make this do-able for those who work multiple other offsite jobs and who may also live offsite part time during these years of residence construction.
  • What constitutes community work?

    • Work parties,
    • Food production/permaculture/water management for the community as a whole (this does not include gardening outside of the common garden unless specifically approved activities by consensus),
    • Networking (any community-agreed meeting other than a social event, small-group meetings on approved projects, email and phone communications),
    • writing/information management and research (on approved projects or in area of stewardship or approved communications such as newsletters),
    • Planning (for approved projects, educational programs, meetings),
    • preparation for hosting programs and events (incl. meals, shopping, cleaning, maintenance, infrastructure, research, etc.),
    • management and administration of co-op resources or privately-vested resources that are being used for co-op business (eg. classroom), *maintenance of common spaces (eg. this includes only outdoor space at the moment, but in future will include common kitchen and other indoor resources such as workshop/studio space and bathing/laundry).
  • I think that these are *not* community labour eligible:
    • maintenance of studio/workshop building,
    • capital improvements (when Class B shares are being requested for labour and material costs),
    • maintenance of private residences (even though co-op owned) - except common infrastructure (eg. well, water systems, septic, greywater, rainwater, heating/plumbing),
    • care of private animals or businesses (eg. right now the time spent caring for goats and chickens does not count toward co-op work hours, in my opinion).
  • What tasks are we actually spending our time on?

    • food production/garden,
    • garlic project,
    • newsletter writing and research,
    • educational programming,
    • facilitation,
    • networking of all kinds,
    • meal prep and processing food
  • What are people's monthly time budgets for stewardships and areas of responsibility?

  • Group Process Steward - I do not have a monthly time budget and I would guess that during the four month term of facilitation I spent triple the amount of time than I usually do on activities in this area. Regularly I estimate this stewardship was taking up 2-3 hrs/mo. I've planned to invite the group to renovate the stewardship parameters for this and perhaps all stewardships and I see that Group Process steward could potentially spend 2 hrs/mo. in support role for facilitators and agenda planning and feedback on "process" of meetings as well as 0-4 hrs/mo. on workshops, education and training, research and writing about process.
  • Ecology steward, I have no monthly budget currently and don't wish one.
  • How do we approve time that people can claim on their forms?

See the Approved time page. I think that if someone wishes to claim an activity as co-op labour that does not appear on Approved time, they should follow the process of sending out a proposal, placing as discussion item at regular resident's meeting and not attempt to claim the hours until the agreement is made (ie. not try for retroactive claims for months previous to the one in which the agreement is reached).

  • Accountability: When do we reconcile from previous months and collect from people who

have hour shortages? I'd like to see the timesheet steward calling for timesheets at the final monthly rez meeting as reminder, then if any are not placed in the book by 15th of following month, that steward contacts people and requests the timesheet. If timesheet is still missing as of next rez meeting after the 15th of the month, they get a public reminder in the meeting. If the last rez meeting of the month is reached and any timesheet is outstanding from the previous month, that resident will be invoiced for the full number of hours not worked. Steep? Maybe, but I want to see accountability. I think once we are caught up with the appropriate template and systems to log, it is a simple reminder on one's weekly planner to just print off the template from the prev month and place in the common timesheet binder in yellow house. (Cutting and pasting to new templates for 2 previous years is time-consuming however!)

Shannon's suggestions and comments below in blue Shan 04:06, 10 October 2009 (UTC) Added comment/question by Dennis below in purple Dennis Lucarelli 17:00, 10 October 2009 (UTC) Added comments by James below in green James Cowan

Each member and, by agreement each resident, is asked to contribute twenty hours each month of labour. Twenty roughly reflects "one hour per week day" which is the underlying intention that residents contribute one hour per week-day (Monday to Friday except holidays) in a typical calendar month.

  • Example: You attend eight hours of meetings and work two six-hour work parties, for a total of 20 hours. Or, you perform a one-hour chore every week-day of the month. Your monthly labour requirement has been met.

Exempt days: Week days off-site or off-island, such as for employment, attending classes, visiting relatives/friends or for other personal reasons, are exempted from the monthly requirement.

  • Example: You spend seven consecutive days away for work. Your monthly total days of work is reduced by five, to fifteen days total. This calculation is up to each individual on good faith. Please record your total number of days onsite on the top of your monthly timesheet. Shan 04:06, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In my opinion we don't have an issue with members often not meeting their hour requirements. Why lower the overall requirement? I agree with the flexibility of hours required for days on site but I'd like to see it remain at 1 hour per day.

Administration and Operations: The labour contribution can be work done on either co-op administration and/or operations.There should be a link to a definition of these two terms. I, Dennis, did not find these definitions; do they exist, or do they need to be written? I think they need to be defined.

  • This is an ongoing issue that has been raised a few times in the past 12 month. There are very loose guidelines for what hours are approved to be claimed for. Currently there are no written guidelines telling me I can't spend 8 hours making biscotti for meeting snacks and claiming that time.

It's even more confusing when you're working on a capital project and getting shares for the hours. You're not supposed to claim hours for monthly hours if you are being issued shares for them. But, that's not written down anywhere that I can find the the current timesheet template doesn't have a separate column for capital projects. There is a page called approved time. This was to be a large retreat topic and we were only able to touch on it briefly. I have not kept this up to date or followed through on expanding on this area. This was meant to clarify what hours are claimable and what the hours budgets are for each person and each area. I recommend Dennis take this over and update it so we can all budget and claim accordingly.

  • Capital improvement projects have their own budget for hours and those hours can be exchanged for Class B shares. Non resident members are required to work 10 hours per month on co-op administration, co-op meetings, farm operations or activities on members weekends.

I would like to propose we remove the non resident member requirement entirely. Also, 'activities' is very vague and we no longer have members weekends.

  • I agree that we can remove non-resident member entirely if we adopt the above formula for required hours being based on time on site.
  • Hours other than group meetings, work parties or activities must be worked on tasks that are part of approved operational and administrative projects. A list of approved projects and tasks is maintained at [link needed, and access to the form to report hours worked].
  • New projects and tasks: the approval process consists of submitting a project page to the wiki, as agreed (and recorded) in an operational meeting. Also, tasks may be generated and approved by a steward based on immediate need (if it falls within a formal project, this must be done in consultation with the project steward).
  • Penalty: Should a member not work the required hours in one month, they will normally be required to pay $___ per hour for the hours short to the co-op, due on the 15th of the following month.

I suggest removing 'member' and stating 'residents and members', also removing 'normally'. The old amount was $15 and I think we need to hold all members and ex members accountable for hours not worked by requesting they pay up (using timesheets in the book). If this agreement is going to change, I suggest changing the requirement to pay for hours not worked with a penalty that requires the person to make up their hours not worked in the following month. They can be given only one month grace for this and if they do not work all of their hours by the end of that time period, they must pay the $15/hr. Shan 04:06, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Why would we change the dollar amount? We spent months researching this and all agreed on this number. If someone wants to change it I suggest they research why this agreement was made and make a well researched proposal based on another community model.
    • Non-member residents, i.e. those not yet on a formal membership track, are formally exempt from a minimum policy but are encouraged to commit to making a minimum monthly labour contribution, with a suggested minimum of twenty hours. That, however, shall be decided case-by-case, and must be formalized in writing.

I disagree. I want to see all residents agreeing to the minimum. That is the reason for lowering the minimum to 20 from the 30 hours that all members are currently typically exceeding (from what I'm aware of in terms of timesheet logs). So, let us make a minimum that applies to all residents, regardless of membership track. To me, having folks here who are not part of making EcoReality blossom and thrive by giving of themselves one hour per weekday is not going to get us where we need to be six months from now and six years and beyond. We'll need to have this labour at all stages of EcoReality's growth - justification for residency, if you ask me, regardless of membership or investment level. Shan 04:06, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

  • I do not want residents and members lumped together to the same agreement. resident is loosely defined in writing. We have verbal agreement that a resident is someone residing on site for more than 2 weeks. By writing a policy that includes residents in the labour policy we then have more questions... What if my mom or brother comes for 3 weeks? Or an exchange student? Or a friend? They would now have a resident requirement? Instead I'd like to see a written agreement between EcoR and a resident that has the terms of their financial and labour intentions and commitments. The goal here is to encourage people to work more hours. It doesn't feel that way from reading these documents... It feels like we're finding ways to weed out those working less hours and punish them with payment. I think that non-member residents should be encouraged to work an hour per day that they are on site and log their hours. But refrain from the heavy hand of the labour agreement to people who are not vested or invested in the co-op. Each situation will be addressed on a one by one basis. I'd like to make the point as well that we have a current long time non-member resident who isn't interested in a computer generated agreement or the heavy hand of a payment penalty if monthly hours aren't met. Would we seek an exception in this instance? Why not just address each non-member resident with a written agreement?
  • Recording of hours worked: Hours must be recorded monthly and printed hardcopy and placed in the timesheet logbook in the yellow house, or sent to the finance steward before the 15th of the following month.
  • Banking hours:Community labour is intended to be performed in the month required. Any member or resident may request that their hours be 'banked' for up to six months in advance, or that they be allowed to "make up" hours not worked in a previous month. Either type of request is subject to the approval or disapproval of either: the steward of a particular project, or, if the excess labour is of a general nature, by the community of members as a group.

Dennis, thank you for initiating these clarifications and changes. Shan 04:06, 10 October 2009 (UTC) I agree. Once again, we spent a long time deliberating the banking hours topic when we made this policy. Please respect that decision and time spent in the past. I agree with the changes above, granting more flexibility for banking hours. Again, this policy could be encouraging to work more hours...

END OF TALK ADDED October 3, 2009. The below is older Discussion:

This proposal was discussed on April 26. Here is the old content:

Proposed Labour policy - April 18, 2008

Comments by Jan in italic green...
Comments by James in italic purple...


Each resident/member is required to work one hour per day on co-op administration and/or operations.

Non resident members are required to work 10 hours per month on co-op administration. Any hours worked on the farm by a non resident member will be considered WWOOF labour, not counting towards the 15 hour monthly requirement.

Hours must be worked on approved operational and administrative tasks. Tasks get approved by submitting a project page to the wiki, as determined (and recorded) in operational meetings or by a steward determining an immediate need and consulting with the project manager.

Who is this "project manager" of which you speak? That's new terminology! Do you mean steward?
I agree project manager is not the correct term. It could be labour steward or project steward. This person would be responsible for budgeting, managing and documenting all of the projects required on the farm and the labour performed by various people (members, work parties, WWOOFers, interns etc)

Should a member not work the required hours in one month, they will be required to pay $15 per hour for the hours short to the co-op. This is due on the 15th of the following month.

Hours must be recorded monthly and sent to the finance steward no later than the 15th of the following month.

I think there should be a new stewardship created (as above) rather than this being handled by the finance steward

A member may choose to bank hours for a maximum of 6 months with a maximum of 42 hours being carried over. Should a member choose to bank hours, they must inform the Finance steward who will keep track of the banked hours. Should a member be taking time off or planning on using the banked hours they must inform the project manager in advance. A member cannot bank hours that have already been used for rental subsidy.

We've only been banking hours on approval of members. This should not be a member's choice. It can potentially blow the labour budget of a project. I suggest keeping it simple: "Community labour is intended to be performed in the month required. In special circumstances, a member may request beforehand that their hours be 'banked' for some period of time. This request will be approved (or not) by the steward of a particular project, or by the members if the excess labour is of a general nature." With these safeguards, the maximum will be set up-front, rather than having an arbitrary number.
It looks like combining the ideas is the way to go. There should be a possible banking option for members who have planned travel or other commitments where they are unable to do their hours within a calendar month


Should a member work over the monthly hour requirement, they can log these hours until the end of the fiscal year at which time they may submit them to the co-op in exchange for Class B shares (to be approved by members).

No. That's not how Class B shares work. But I can see that my comments on the proposed labour policy discussion page could have been misinterpreted.
Any time we issue shares, it must be for capital projects, not on ongoing operations (see finance), and should be approved beforehand, not at some future date, when things will have been forgotten. Again, this sort of stuff dilutes share value and blows project budgets. The amount of labour must be under the control of project stewards, not at the whim of people doing stuff that may or may not be needed! Stewards will have budgets, not individuals. In sociocracy terms, approval comes from the next highest "circle."
Correction noted. This is one area with no clear answer and may be left vague until members have time to brainstorm a solution.


Proposed Labour policy discussion - April 4, 2007

  • Members will hold quarterly meetings to discuss projects and their priorities, their costs (financially and how much labour is required). Projects will be prioritized based on their feasibility (financial and labour), their return to the co-op either in eitehr goods or revenue, their ongoing costs and their alignment with the co-ops values and vision.
    We already have a mechanism for project proposals that has been presented to the group, but only two people have been using it: Category:Projects. I don't see any value in sequestering projects to "quarterly meetings" when they are coming up all the time. --Jan Steinman 10:29, 5 April 2007 (PDT)
  • At monthly meetings, members review which projects are a priority and how much labour is budgeted will be reviewed. Each member will voice their intention of which project(s) they will participate in that month.
  • Set a monthly labour requirement for each month based on what all members can feasibly do. These hours must be performed on approved projects only, and in the approved budget for hours. Any hour overage on an approved project must be approved by members (or project manager if the farm chooses to have one. It could be a revolving role or one member’s stewardship).
    • James suggests maximum 20 hours per month per person
      This is well below what seems to be widely practiced in the field of one hour per day. I sugges 30 hours a month is more appropriate and nearly doable by everyone. Even if it isn't doable by some, the difference between 20 and 30 can bring needed income to the community. --Jan Steinman 10:29, 5 April 2007 (PDT)
  • Set an hourly amount that may be paid to the co-op by a member in lieu of hours worked, should they choose to work less hours in a month.
    • James suggests $10 per hour
      If the goal is to be egalitarian about the time-value of money, then I think a higher amount is warranted. Some of us will gladly provide services worth many times that amount, and those of us who will be doing simple work will feel uplifted by a higher amount. I suggest we continue with the already-agreed-upon $15 per hour. --Jan Steinman 10:29, 5 April 2007 (PDT)
  • Set an optional labour budget where a member can work over their required hours on approved projects and bank labour hours for future consideration.
    • James suggests 20 hours for this additional option
      If additional labour is "banked," why have a limit? This discourages people from working more than 40 hours a month! --Jan Steinman 10:29, 5 April 2007 (PDT)
  • Decide on what “future consideration” is for optional overtime hours.
    • Options include:
    • Point system where hours count towards points which count towards the first choice of a building site or home on the future piece of land.
      This seems pretty far-fetched. When we're worried about getting the peas in, I don't think anyone is motivated by a vague promise of some future building site. --Jan Steinman 10:29, 5 April 2007 (PDT)
    • Share adjustment for a slightly larger percentage of ownership (more class A shares).
      We cannot do that without officially changing our rules, which requires application to Victoria. I am steadfastly against any proposal that dilutes equity. That means that any such proposal must only apply to hours worked toward capital projects, but wait -- we already have a mechanism for that that everyone's agreed on: Class B Shares! --Jan Steinman 10:29, 5 April 2007 (PDT)
    • Partial financial compensation in the event that the co-op generates revenue far and above their budget (predetermine the threshold in the budget where members can redeem overtime labour hours for money).
  • Document all hours worked. Include what the project was, what the budget labour hours were and how many hours it took.
  • Members are free to volunteer to work on non priority or non approved projects once their required hours have been worked. These hours are still to be logged for reference.
  • Members are encouraged to work on more approved projects should they choose to volunteer over and above their required hours.

Share your opinion


blog comments powered by Disqus
Personal tools
Get our newsletter!
Name:
Email Address:

disturbance
entry points
help (off site)
Environmental jobs, green volunteering, good work! Powered by the wind! This server and other
EcoReality operations
are 100% wind powered.
Powered by Mac OS X Powered by Mac MediaWiki Powered by MariaDB Powered by Valentina Studio Pro